We’re BIG fans of storytelling around here at Jesse Brown’s. Some of our favorite stories are the ones that fascinated us as kids, or had us locked tight around a campfire, looking over our shoulders the whole time. Yep. Halloween and a good ghost story go together like peanut butter and chocolate.
Doing our homework for the radio show we found all sorts of spooky and interesting bits about the strange, supernatural, and unexplained all over the Carolinas. We couldn’t help but stir up a few and put them here!
This was a new one on us, but here’s how the story goes, according to the NC Secretary of State’s office: In a wooded area in western Chatham County, ten miles east of Siler City, is a well-worn path that forms a ring forty feet in diameter. The path itself is a foot wide. The center of the circle and the ground outside the path are lush with grass and other plant life, but nothing grows in the foot-wide track. At sunset, when rocks or similar heavy objects are placed in the pathway, they are found the next morning to have been brushed aside. In fall and winter, when rabbit hunters roam the surrounding countryside, their dogs perform joyously until the chase nears the barren circle. Then the dogs tuck their tail between their legs and slink away. They will not go near the spot. Soon after the first settlers came to Chatham County, they discovered the strange site, which soon became known as the Devil’s Tramping Ground. This was before 1800.
The Pink Lady of the Grove Park Inn
The Grove Park Inn is home to what’s likely the friendliest of “visitors”, despite her untimely check out. Dressed in a long, pink, flowing gown, the woman fell to her death over the stone wall from the second floor. Though her body was removed, it seems that her spirit has lingered behind. In the years since her death, employees and guests have reported seeing a pink mist, and even an apparition of a woman dressed in a pink gown throughout the lodge. Though it might seem to some a little unnerving to be sharing a residence with a ghost, no one has ever reported any malicious interactions with her. The pink lady seems especially drawn to children. In fact, after a family visit to the inn, a doctor once wrote that his children told him that “they enjoyed playing with the lady in the pink dress”. Her pranks are child-like in nature, also; some guests have reported that their feet have been tickled at nighttime, the air conditioning has been turned off and on, as have the lights, and she has been blamed for doors and windows being opened.
Mrs. Biltmore is Still Poolside?
Well, if you had the keys to an estate like the Biltmore, you probably wouldn’t leave, either! Apparently, that’s the case of the departed (from this world) Edith Vanderbilt. The folks at North Carolina Ghosts tell the story like this: Edith Vanderbilt was known to personally journey down to the library to remind her husband when it was time to join his guests. Today, many people passing through the library have reported hearing a woman’s voice whisper the name “George.” She may be summoning George away from his studies and back to what seems to be an eternal party. Workers and visitors have reported hearing the sounds of clinking glasses, laughter, and snatches of music echoing through the halls. There have even been reports of the sounds of splashing coming from the estate’s now-empty swimming pool. If you’ve ever visited the home yourself, you can appreciate how hard it would be to give it up!
We’ve had the pleasure of hiking, running and camping in this area… but have yet to see the infamous Brown Mountain lights. But for hundreds of years, folks have reported seeing these spooky lights creeping along, or just below the ridge line at night. Explanations have ranged from the clinical “swamp gas”, to the wandering wayward spirits of lost slaves, Civil War soldiers or Cherokee and Catawba Indians. Either way, there’s enough photographic evidence to keep the conversation going – and the imagination! The Brown Mountain Lights have been investigated by the Federal Government, ghost hunters and other groups, and has birthed a number of books, articles, and even inspired an episode of The X Files!
You can see why we’re pretty excited to talk to Carl White on THIS weekend’s radio show! Carl covered the story on his show, Life in the Carolinas. Check it out Saturday morning on WBT 1110AM, or download the podcast and listen whenever you like!